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PROMISING RESULTS FOR BROWN AND PRÉFONTAINE IN FIRST WORLD CUP WEEKEND

The Canadian alpine ski team kicked off the 2014-15 World Cup season with some promising results, over the weekend, in both the men’s and women’s giant slalom races held in Soelden, Austria.

Philip Brown, of Toronto, skied to a 21st place finish in the men’s giant slalom, Sunday, to post a career best at the World Cup level. On the women’s side, Marie-Pier Préfontaine, of Saint-Sauveur, Quebec, finished 24th on Saturday to earn her best result in her last eight races.

Brown finished in the top 30 for a second race in a row, after ending up 24th at the giant slalom raced in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia, on March 8 earlier this year. The 22-year-old skier, who made his World Cup debut in January of 2012 and was racing for the 20th time at that level, Sunday, posted the 12th best time of the day in the second run, less than a second behind the leaders.

Brown therefore closed the gap to finish the two-run race with a time of two minutes 32.48 seconds. Austrian Marcel Hirscher won it in 2:28.09, to come up with his 10th career victory in a giant slalom on the World Cup circuit.

A day earlier, Préfontaine posted her best result since finishing 20th in a giant slalom at Val d’Isère, France, on December 22, 2013. Like Brown, the 26-year-old Canadian did well in the second run, Saturday, showing the 13th best time to finish with a total of 2:45.05. American Mikaela Shiffrin and Austrian Anna Fenninger tied for first with identical times of 2:39.85.

Préfontaine often does well early in the season, having come up with one of her two career top-10 results at Beaver Creek, on December 1st, 2013. She finished 9th that day. In addition, she finished 19th in Soelden two years ago.

Marie-Michèle Gagnon of Lac Etchemin, Quebec, did not finish the first run while Candace Crawford, of Toronto, did not finish the second run and officially earned 43rd place. Mikaela Tommy of Wakefield, Quebec, and Erin Mielzynski of Collingwood, Ontario, did not qualify for the second run, finishing 49th and 50th, respectively.

On the men’s side, Sunday, Dustin Cook of Lac Ste-Marie, Quebec, finished 34th, while Tyler Werry and Trevor Philp, both from Calgary, finished 37th and 47th respectively.

The next World Cup events will be in Levi, Finland, with women’s and men’s slaloms slated for November 15-16.